Articles about ‘Local government’
News that the Birmingham City Council will rebuild Northfield Pool and Leisure Centre on the existing site puts an end to months of speculation following last year’s public consultation on the issue. You can read some of the background to the issue here.
During that consultation, many residents and traders emphasised the importance of retaining a central Northfield location for the new leisure centre to replace the existing pool, which is now reaching the end of its life. This decision achieves that. After looking at the costs involved, the City Council have concluded that it would not be financially viable to try to redevelop another part of central Northfield (such as Price’s Square) to house the new pool. Alternative locations such as Longbridge also did not stack up financially.
Birmingham MPs were active in the Commons yesterday on behalf of our City. I raised the issue of school crossing patrols and the unfair financial settlement being imposed on Birmingham by the Conservative Government. Gisela Stuart from Edgbaston called for a radical overhaul of the way local government is treated so Birmingham can better meet the challenges and opportunities our City faces. As Shadow Police Minister, Jack Dromey took apart the Government’s treatment of our police services- a theme also taken up by Steve McCabe from Selly Oak.
Every child should be able to walk, cycle or scoot to school safely. But far too often our roads are just too dangerous for them to do so. Two thirds of primary school children think streets in their community are unsafe for walking and cycling. And no wonder. Figures released today show that in 2014 the number of children killed or seriously injured rose for the first time in 20 years.
So it’s no suppose that proposed cuts to School Crossing Patrols across Birmingham have generated a lot of anger and fear among parents, children, school staff and of course the school crossing staff themselves.
Since December my diary, and my mind, have been rather occupied with the Government’s “Infrastructure Bill.” This might sound rather technical. But I know from the number of local people who have contacted me about the various issues covered from the Bill – from fracking to cycling and the Highways Agency – that it is hugely important.
So although it has been hard work, and it has taken a considerable amount of hours to prepare for facing the Government at the despatch box and debate proposals in ‘Committee’, it has been a real privilege to lead the Labour Party’s scrutiny of this Bill.
I had the privilege of giving the closing speech of Northfield’s District Convention on Saturday. It had been a very successful event with a good attendance from community groups and organisations across the area.
With the theme of “Making a Difference in your Community” the Convention heard thought provoking contributions from Paul Slatter of the Chamberlain Forum and Barbara Labrosse, Resident Engagement Officer of Trident Housing. Some of the most valuable parts of the day, however were the five workshops, focussing on Libraries, Young People, Housing, Jobs and Skills, and Neighbourhood Working. It was there that the voices of community groups and individuals working in the Northfield area were heard most clearly. Representing local people in a Parliament, I thought it was important that I was around to hear the discussions that took place in those workshops in the report backs that followed.